Things I used to Say

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I could fill a book with things I used to say.
I will never have children, I don’t want to be a mom, I kill every green thing I touch, I will never get divorced, I will stay in the same job for ten years, I can’t do it alone, I am not that type of person – one who reaches for more.
Growing was change and change was scary. The pain of staying the same became comfortable. It became what I knew.
But then, from deep within, there was a rumble. A rumble that turned into a spark, a spark that lit a fire, a fire that could not and would not be contained.
I tried. I tried telling myself it wouldn’t work out. Why do you want to change, Bonnie? It would hiss. Trying to push me back down into comfortable silence. Shaming me for my efforts.
But I had already seen too much. I had seen pain and joy and hope and loss. I had felt it all before and survived it. Turned it into something more. And so, I quieted the hiss and released the fire.
I let it burn down my whole life and self. The pretty picture I had curated, gone in a flash of bright white light.
It was painful. After all, life is painful.
But in the end, nothing is as painful as staying stuck where you do not belong.
It is time for this old way of being, this comfortable painful way white people have been living, to go.
The rumble is too great to ignore now. It is time to let it burn things down, to awaken anew.
Do not stay behind. Come with us, join with us to grow and change. To become more. We are capable of so much more.
Do not repeat the things you used to say. Let them burn with the old, to make way for the light.
More soon,
Bonnie Rae xx
I love you, I see you, start here.
Justice for Breonna Taylor
What to do, what not to do. 
Listen, learn, and then do more listening and more learning. 

Quarantine capsule

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The greatest wealth is to live content with little.
I currently have about 20 items in my summer, stay at home, capsule wardrobe.
2 jeans, 2 shorts, 2 tank tops, 2 pairs of shoes, 10 tops, and 1 dress – the dress is not pictured because I did not want to take these photos in the nude (although if that is your thing, more power to you.) Check out my Instagram for styled outfits, and the dress.
I’m often asked, “Is that really all you wear? What about when you play with Miles? Don’t you get bored? ARE YOU SURE THAT’S IT!?”
Yes, this is it. I average about 25 items each season in my capsules. One thing that makes my number so low is that I do not need to dress “fancy” for work. I have a small conference capsule wardrobe that is obviously tucked away for now.
And yes, I wear these items to play with Miles. I don’t mind the occasional grass stain, or paint mark. They are all removed easily enough.
For March and the beginning of April, I did not have a capsule. Like many others. I was surviving. Trying to find my way in this new world. Dressing in leggings and pajamas and never “getting ready” for the day. It was rare that I would even brush my teeth before noon.
I do not regret living this way for a while. I was doing my very best. Trying to figure out how to work full time and be a single mama. I cried a lot and I worried. I wondered how long I could go on this tired and lonely, unable to see my family and friends, the people that give so much meaning to my life. How long could I take care of this little one alone, without my village there to help me?
And then, a shift. A phone call from one of the wisest and most powerful women in my life, a woman who showed me that I could be kind and set boundaries. I can be gentle and strong. That yes, most people are doing their very best, but not everyone in this world has good intentions.
She reminded me that I am full of light. That I have come through worse than this. That the people I was letting take parts of me did not hold them well. She noticed that I had forgotten myself for a little while, and she helped me remember.
People do that for me over and over. Listen and love and remind me of who I am, remind me that I know myself better than anyone. My sister, my friends, my auntie, my mentors, myself. Keep close the people that really see you.
I’ve started getting ready each day, with the beautiful items in my summer capsule, because it helps me remember who I am. Clothes have that power, you know? They hold the power to uplift you, to impact your thoughts and your mood. All the things around you do. Your home, your clothes, your words.
When I have a small, curated number of items to choose from, I lessen the decision fatigue. I add simplicity and quality.
In the morning, I cleanse my face, do my hair, moisturize, brush my teeth, and step into my chosen items for the day. Instantly I feel more capable and ready to do this life.
“You don’t have to solve your whole life overnight. And you don’t have to feel ashamed for being where you are. All you have to focus on is one small thing you can do today to get closer to where you want to be. Slowly and lightly, one step at a time. You can get there.” Daniell Koepke
More soon,
Bonnie Rae xx
If you want to plan your own capsule, these might help:
Unfancy 
Project 333
Previous capsule posts

 

Before

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Before all of this, I had so many complaints.
The people at my gym annoyed me – were they staring at me? They need to go so I have space. I need a home gym, why do I even keep this membership?
I hate my office. People are so in my face, they interrupt, I feel their negative energy, I just want to work from home but I have to be here.
I was always grateful to Ms. Barbara. Raising my baby with me. But Miles and I were rushed. I was exhausted by the time I picked him up, so sweet and loving to him, but really I only had a few hours a day with him and two days every other weekend.
I missed so much. I missed his smiles and his questions. His kisses and cuddles. His smells and giggles. His dislikes and demands.
I am so grateful for this time. I will come out of this better and stronger and wiser somehow. I have done uncertainty before. I have survived my life shattering on the floor like glass before, growing stronger as I put it back together –  more beautiful than before.
Still, at times, my gratitude and privilege make me sick. Each moment of meditation or wealth makes me feel guilt and shame like I have never felt before- how do I have so much in this time while a majority have nothing? Less than nothing.
How did we get like this? So far from equality. So far from freedom. Tied to wages. Tied to debt. Tied to this capitalist system I hate.
My heart is breaking, not for me, for everyone else. For a system that fails the majority of beings – humans and animals and our earth.
I do what I can. I turn my heartbreak into action. Into donations, support of local businesses, food bank support, cards sent with messages of love and support.
My heart still breaks. But I notice the good. I do not look for the stories of darkness and hate. I follow the light. There are so many people coming together, giving and caring. More than I’ve ever seen.
People are waking up. The angry, protesting few are outnumbered by the hopeful, caring many.
We can do this. We can come out wiser, moving slower, remembering what we miss. Not stuff and things and the business of it all.
We miss the hugs, the family, the friends- the love.
More soon,
Bonnie Rae xx
Things that are helping:
This podcast. Thank you Cheryl Strayed.
This rewatch series. So silly and sweet.
Anything that has to do with this show. My life changed the day I watched this show. This is not an exaggeration.

New

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Today I capture the story of us.
Me and you little one.
We are weeks into quarantine and global pandemic. You remain unaffected. Joy and love and red hair.
You are 2 years, and 4 months old.
You are at full tilt, running up the hills nearby and then down again. Playing with every stick as a sword and saying, “Come on Mama!” Demanding that I join.
You are my joy. Without you, I wallow. Without you, I sit and I stew and I watch TV and I eat sugar and other poisons not meant for my body.
With you, I run from dragons and eat pancakes and strawberries and I forget about all the pain in the world. You and I just are.
The sun is shining, the trees are in beautiful spring blooms, it feels so strange to see their beauty and the sun in contrast to overrun hospitals, social distancing, and masks.
I find joy here. We are okay. We have food and water and shelter and sun. We have gardens and toys and kisses and chalk.
How are we so lucky? I ask myself. I grieve the life that was, to make way for the new.
More soon,
Bonnie Rae xx